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We are looking at adding branching into our models as part of our Monte Carlo schedule risk analysis and are wondering which options we should use. What is the difference between Running (or Canceling) a task or Running or Cancelling and setting to zero.
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If you are looking at the analysis at the project summary level, there is not a large difference between to two types of branching options. It does however, have a significant impact if you are looking at the expected values at the task level. The reason for this is that in the results, if you select just to run or cancel branches, at each iteration, if a branch is cancelled it is given a NULL result. If you select the set to zero option, the a branch is cancelled a 0 is entered as a result. For the vast majority of modeling, using the option to run or cancel will provide the most intuitive results.
In the example below, you can see how these options impact the expected values (EV) for a task.
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